Neutering is the term used for the surgical removal of the reproductive organs in both male and female animals.
• Female animals are spayed – this means the womb and the ovaries are removed.
• Male animals are castrated – this means the testicles are removed.
What are the benefits of neutering?
Neutering has many benefits that apply not only to dogs and cats but also to other small animals such as rabbits, and ferrets.
• Neutering prevents female animals coming into season, when they may attract unwanted male attention, become pregnant or have false pregnancies.
• Un-neutered female animals can be messy when they come into season – bitches can bleed for up to three weeks.
• Female cats in season can behave as if they are in pain, often vocalising loudly at all hours of the day and night.
• Animals don’t respect family relationships – siblings will mate if given the opportunity and this increases the risk of offspring being born with birth defects and deformities.
• Neutering prevents the risk of testicular cancer in male animals and womb (uterine) infections and cancers in females, (which can make your pet very poorly, and can in some cases prove fatal).
• In male dogs and cats, neutering can reduce behaviours such as urine marking and roaming. Un-neutered male animals are more commonly involved in road traffic accidents or fights than neutered male animals.
• Neutering can reduce aggressive behaviour in mature male ferrets, as well as the smell often associated with them! Neutering a female ferret can also prevent severe health problems such as anaemia, which can be fatal.
• Neutering helps reduce the number of unwanted litters, and animals in the UK
• Neutered animals are less attractive to thieves, and so having your pet neutered can help reduce the risk of them being stolen for breeding.
• If an unneutered pet becomes pregnant and there is a problem during or after the birth, vet fees can be very expensive. Offspring might need veterinary attention too, and you will need to find homes for them all too.
• Owners have a legal responsibility to meet all of their animal’s needs under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Pregnant and nursing animals need even more care and their offspring will be equally as demanding. When the young are ready to be rehomed, you also need to ensure that they are vaccinated, microchipped, wormed and flea treated, which you will also need to be able to afford.
What are the disadvantages of neutering your pet?
• There are many myths surrounding the disadvantages of neutering your pet.
• Neutering can mean that your pet has a slight tendency to gain weight, but it is easy to avoid this happening, and we are able to offer advice on diet following the operation.
• In some circumstances we will advise against neutering your pet, we will discuss this with you at length if we feel it is appropriate.
• When is the right time to neuter your pet?
• We routinely neuter cats (both male and female) from 16 weeks of age.
• It is often possible to neuter dogs and bitches from just before 6 months of age, although we treat each animal individually and will advise some animals are neutered when they are slightly older.
• If your bitch has had a season we will advise you when in her cycle is the best time to get her neutered
It is not necessary to wait until your female cat has finished her season before we neuter her.
We routinely neuter rabbits from 4 months of age, although we treat each animal individually and will advise some animals are neutered when they are slightly older.
It is not necessary to let an animal have one litter first. Pets can be neutered before having any litters.
We will advise you on the best time to neuter your pet when we first see them for their vaccinations or throughout their early years.
What happens when your pet is neutered?
We will send you information via email about how to prepare your pet for the surgery when you book your pet’s operation, this will include advice on feeding them both before and after surgery.
We ask you to attend an admit appointment with one of our vets or nurses, on the morning of your pet’s surgery.
This will allow us to check your pet’s health and to go through the consent form you will be asked to sign before leaving your pet with us. We ask you to provide us with a telephone number that we are able to contact you on throughout the day of the surgery. It is extremely important that we are able to reach you at any time during the day if we need to.
We will offer pre-anaesthetic blood tests which check your pet’s liver and kidney values, along with their blood glucose prior to surgery. This is entirely optional and we will discuss it with you when you sign your pet’s consent form for surgery.
Your pet will be pre-medicated prior to surgery; this helps reduce anxiety and provides pain relief as well as reducing the amount of anaesthetic required by your pet. Your pet will then be anaesthetised and the surgery performed. Your pet will receive a further pain-killing injection. Once the surgery has finished and your pet has woken up after the anaesthetic you will be telephoned by one of our nurses, and a discharge appointment arranged.
At your pet’s discharge appointment a nurse will explain how to care for your pet over the following 10-day period. We ask you to ensure that your pet does not interfere with its wound as this can cause infections, and we can help provide you with methods and advise to prevent them licking at the wound. We will also advise you on how to feed your pet post operatively and how to exercise them.
One or two follow up appointments will be made with a member of our nursing team to check your pet post operatively, and as we provide our own out of hours care, should you have any concerns you are able to contact one of our vets outside of normal working hours should this be necessary.
How much does neutering cost?
This depends on the species, sex, and size of your pet, and we will be able to advise you on this when you arrange an appointment to have your pet neutered. We are happy to work with a number of local charities, and the dogs trust to offer subsidised neutering, so if you are on means tested benefits, or are struggling to fund having your pet neutered then please speak to us as we may be able to find you financial help.
To arrange an appointment to have your pet neutered please contact the surgery on the numbers below.